US Passport Acceptance Agent

A US Passport Acceptance Agent plays an important role in executing your passport application.

What is a Passport Acceptance Agent?

A Passport Acceptance agent is an individual trained and certified by the U.S. State Department to initiate and “execute” the passport application process for new passports, first-time passports, lost passports, child/minor passports, and for applicants who are not eligible to renew their passports.

How Do I Find a Passport Acceptance Agent?

Passport acceptance agents can be found at most post offices, county clerks, city, clerks, and sometimes at public libraries.  To find one, go to the  Passport Acceptance Agent Search Page and insert your zip code.  This website will search for acceptance agents near you and will provide you with their contact information, hours of operation, and whether appointments are required for that facility.  Visit the State Department website to find a US Passport Acceptance Agent near you.

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Why do I need to get my application executed by a passport acceptance agent?

Think of a Passport Acceptance Agent as the first layer quality control and security.  Only U.S. citizens are eligible to obtain a U.S. passport.  It is important that our government establishes that an individual applying for a U.S. passport is a U.S. citizen, and is being forthright about their personal information and identity.  The acceptance agent is responsible for actually looking at you, looking at your identification, and watching you sign your passport application.  They can then essentially sign off on your paperwork which tells the U.S. passport agency that you were able to prove your identity, and that you personally signed your application in front of the acceptance agent.  This protects you, protects your identity, and ensures that U.S. passport are not issued falsely.

Why do both parents have to go to an acceptance agent every time their kid gets a passport?

While it may seem inconvenient to take a family trip to a passport acceptance agent every time your kid needs a passport, it really is in the interest of your child.  You cannot renew a child passport ever, you have to apply from scratch each time you get a child a passport.  This involves both parents and the child appearing at a passport acceptance agent.  At this time, the acceptance agent is establishes who the parents are by looking at the child’s birth certificate.  They then establish that the parent or parents on the birth certificate are present with the child, and both consent to the child getting a passport.  Both parents must prove their identity and sign the application.  Without this process, one parent would be able to leave the country with a child against the other parent’s will.

Need to Find a Passport Acceptance Agent?

Are there any exceptions to the rule that both parents have to appear at the passport acceptance agent?

Yes, there are several exceptions such as:

  • If only one parent is listed on the birth certificate, then only that parent needs to consent to the child getting a passport.
  • If one parent can prove they have sole custody of the child by supplying an original court order, they can consent to the child getting a passport without the 2nd parents’ consent.
  • If one parent is unable to appear at the passport acceptance agent with the other parent and minor, then the non-appearing parent can sign and notarize as DS-3053.  The appearing parent can bring this notarized form in place of the non-appearing parent physically being there.
  • If there is a really good reason 1 parent cannot be at the acceptance agent, the appearing parent can detail this reason on the DS-5525.  If the Passport Acceptance Agent AND Passport Agency deem the reason acceptable, they may issue your minor a passport.  This has to be a really special circumstance to work.  Examples of reasons that have NOT worked include: A parent being incarcerated; parent abroad in the military; one parent is unable to be contacted or found to get permission. Even if it is a really valid reason, remember, it is the Passport Agency’s job to make sure that your minor is protected, and they will not issue a passport without both parents permission if there is doubt regarding 1 parents’ consent.
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